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EPA/OLEM RIN: 2050-AG87 Publication ID: Fall 2018 
Title: Clean Water Act Hazardous Substances Spill Prevention 

As a result of a consent decree, the EPA has issued a proposed rule that addresses the prevention of hazardous substance discharges under section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This section directs the President to issue regulations to prevent discharges of oil and hazardous substances from onshore and offshore facilities, and to contain such discharges.The EPA assessed the consequences of hazardous substance discharges into the nation's waters, and evaluated the costs and benefits of potential preventive regulatory requirements for facilities handling such substances. Based on an analysis of the frequency and impacts of reported CWA hazardous substances discharges and the existing framework of EPA regulatory requirements, the Agency is not proposing additional regulatory requirements at this time.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 151   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(1)(C)   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Judicial  Sign by no later than 14 months after publication of NPRM (NPRM was published on June 25, 2018) & within 15 days thereafter transmit to the Federal Register.  08/25/2019 
NPRM  Judicial  Sign by no later than June 16, 2018 and within 15 days thereafter transmit to the Federal Register.  06/16/2018 

Statement of Need:

CWA 311(j)(1)(C) provides that the President "[establish] procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent discharges of oil and hazardous substances from vessels and from onshore and offshore facilities, and to contain such discharges..." EPA was delegated authority for regulating onshore facilities under CWA 311(j)(1)(C) by Executive Order 12777, and was redelegated authority for regulating offshore facilities landward of the coastline under CWA 311(j)(1)(C) by the Department of the Interior. See 40 CFR 112, appendix A.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

In 2015, the EPA was sued for failure to finalize a rulemaking for chemicals under the CWA 311(j)(1)(C). This litigation was settled and a consent decree was filed with the court in February 2016 (Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform v. U.S. EPA). The EPA is conducting this rulemaking in accordance with the consent decree and proposed rule on June 25, 2018, and intends to have the Administrator sign a final rule by August 25, 2019.


The Agency considered three alternatives. The first alternatives was to establish a prevention program that included nine regulatory elements aimed at preventing CWA HS discharges. The second alternative was to establish a targeted approach that selects a limited set of requirements designed to prevent CWA hazardous substances discharges. This regulatory option could establish targeted requirements under one or more of the nine program elements under the first option; however, four elements are specifically identified and discussed. The third, and proposed alternative, establishes no new requirements under the authority of CWA 311(j)(1)(C).

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Since the proposed action recommended no new regulatory requirements, it neither imposes incremental costs nor provides incremental environmental protection benefits.


The proposed action recommended no new regulatory requirements; therefore, EPA anticipates no changes in risk as a result of this action. In the 40 years since CWA section 311(j)(1)(C) was enacted by Congress, multiple statutory and regulatory requirements have been established under different Federal authorities that generally serve to, directly and indirectly, prevent CWA hazardous substances discharges.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/25/2018  83 FR 29499   
Final Rule  09/00/2019 
Additional Information: Docket #:EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0024
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
Sectors Affected: 111 Crop Production; 115 Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry; 211 Oil and Gas Extraction; 212 Mining (except Oil and Gas); 221 Utilities; 311 Food Manufacturing; 312 Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing; 313 Textile Mills; 316 Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing; 321 Wood Product Manufacturing; 322 Paper Manufacturing; 324 Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing; 325 Chemical Manufacturing; 326 Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing; 327 Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing; 423 Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods; 424 Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods; 44-45 Retail Trade; 48-49 Transportation and Warehousing; 493 Warehousing and Storage; 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; 56 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; 61 Educational Services; 72 Accommodation and Food Services; 924 Administration of Environmental Quality Programs 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Gregory Wilson
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Land and Emergency Management
Mail Code 5104A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-7989